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Post by Wendy Wrobel

Intern writing on Foundational Principles of the European Union

I spent this summer working for Advocates International under the umbrella organization The Rule of Law Institute.

The Rule of Law Institute exists to not only provide legal representation, but to create and organize a network of lawyers to protect the supremacy of law, human rights, and to harmonize Bulgarian legislation with legislation of the greater European community.

During my time at the Rule of Law Institute, our supervisor ensured we conducted work on the cases he was representing. While also utilizing the foundational principles of the European Union. As well as learning the E.U.’s structure, and procedure in order to assist in our own experience but also the Advocates as an organization.

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One of the topics we researched were the foundational principles of solidarity and subsidiaries.

The foundational principles of the European Union, such as solidarity, have been drawn from international law. United Nations General Assembly Resolutions in 2001 and 2002 defined solidarity as follows. “A fundamental value, by virtue of which global challenges must be manages in a way that distributes costs and burdens fairly. In accordance with basic principles of equality and social justice and ensures that those who suffer or benefit at least receive help from those who benefit the most.”

Solidarity in the EU is a key value in treaties as a general principle and as guiding principle for Member States and individuals. The EU follows two (2) forms of solidarity. Solidarity among the Member States and solidarity between the Member States and individuals.[1]

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The EU believes member nations have the right to decide law for themselves. However, the EU can attempt to influence legislation change through their committees and institutions if following the requirements defined in the TEU.

These principles are utilized in a fair amount of the EU’s legislation. For example:

Article 222 of the TFEU calls for the EU and Member States to join in a “spirit of solidarity”. Specifically if another Member State is under a terrorist attack or falls victim to a natural or manmade disaster.[2]

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The purpose of the EU Solidarity Fund is as follows. “To show solidarity, send a clear political signal and provide genuine assistance to citizens affected by major natural disasters that have serious repercussions on economic and social development.”[3]

Article 122 and 194 of the TFEU establish the principle of solidarity in economics.[4] These principles exist to provide consistency, and to create a balance of power between member states and the EU as a whole.

This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Intern. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.

[1] Veronica Federico and Christian Lahusen, Solidarity as a Public Virtue?: Law and Public Policies in the European Union, JSTOR,
[2] Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Article 222), EUR-Lex,
[3] The European Union Solidarity Fund, EUR-Lex,; EU Solidarity Fund, European Commission,
[4] Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Article 122), EUR-Lex,; Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Article 194), Eur-Lex,